[Note: Upon seeing the billboard pictured here in NYC last week, HH said, “Hemp must be The New Black.”]
Apparently industrial hemp is the new everything:
- You can eat it.
- You can drink it.
- You can fuel your car with it.
- You can build a house with it.
- You can slather it on your body.
- You can wear it.
- You can save the planet with it.
You could smoke industrial hemp but it would only give you a headache. It’s not the same as smoke-able weed.
So, I don’t know much about hemp but if both ends of the political spectrum are in favor of expanding hemp production in the United States, it sounds like it could be a good idea. And if industrial hemp is so awesome and it won’t be our gateway drug into opioids, why has it taken so long to embrace it?
This is a post about greed.
Once upon a time in the United States of America all farmers were required to grow hemp and all pharmacists carried medicinal cannabis in their drug stores. But in 1936 the film Reefer Madness came out as a propaganda project which kicked off an ongoing campaign to make cannabis increasingly illegal.
And then there were the Rockefeller, Dupont, Mellon, and Hearst families. Throughout the early 20th Century and continuing to these days, the Rockefellers controlled oil, the Du Ponts controlled chemicals (including the creation of nylon), the Hearsts owned newspapers (with an emphasis on paper) and Andrew Mellon was both the richest man in the country and Secretary of the Treasury (and an investor in nylon.)
They killed the hemp industry because it competed with the oil and wood pulp industries and their power was no match for hemp farmers. And now we find ourselves – as a nation and planet – with some environmental issues that could have been avoided if we’d stuck with hemp. (Sources here and here.)
Greed fuels everything bad about our country today, if you ask me. Even our churches struggle with it. (Have you ever heard someone refer to the church as “mine” and not as a community identifier?)
Greedy choices made today have long term consequences that impact our communities, our congregations, and our planet. Greed keeps people poor. Greed keeps people sick. Greed separates people from their Creator.
Why is it not one of the Ten Commandments then? (i.e. Thou shalt not be greedy?”) Actually, greed plays a role in Commandments 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, and 10 – and maybe the other four as well.
One of the reasons organized religion struggles today is because of greed. (It might be the #1 reason but – for me – it’s a toss up between greed, laziness, and fear.)
So . . . go hemp! I hope you are The New Black and that you help save our environment. And I hope – as we sit in meetings today with our congregations, our business partners, our government officials, our community leaders, our school staffs, and our neighbors – we will consider this:
Is greed impacting our decision in any way?
We can do better with and for each other.
Image of a billboard in NYC at the corner of 53rd and 6th.